Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Schlack

Second Advisor

Dr. James Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Sheri Lohmiller

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Harriet


This study was conducted to determine the attitudes and opinions of Michigan public school superintendents toward school consolidation.

Data analysis provided an accurate description of the K-12 public school superintendent's attitudes regarding school consolidation and demographic information relative to selected characteristics of the respondents and their districts.

The population for this study was all 529 K-12 Michigan public school superintendents. The sample size determined was 106. Of the 106 superintendents selected 103 or (97%) participated in the study.

The research instrument, a questionnaire of 25 questions was administered by telephone by the researcher.

The analysis provided: (a) a description and discussion of the responses regarding each survey question, (b) a discussion of the responses to the research questions and examined relationships between the superintendents' attitudes toward consolidation and the demographic variables, and (c) cross tabulations between selected sets of variables.

The following conclusions were supported: (1) Over sixty-three percent (63.1%) of the Michigan public school superintendents believe more school consolidation should take place. However, only 44.7% of the superintendents would support consolidation in their own district. (2) The primary concerns superintendents have regarding consolidation are: legislative involvement in consolidation; the idea of the state mandating consolidation in districts where state standards are not being met; finances; whether financial incentives would be provided to encourage consolidation. (3) Superintendents believe the major advantages of consolidation would be: course offerings; staffing; facility usage; administrative efficiency; and co-curricular activities. (4) Superintendents would favor a consolidation plan that includes recommendations developed by the State Department of Education and incentives to encourage consolidation. The organization plan superintendents favored is school districts consolidating to form larger K-12 districts. (5) The superintendents did not perceive significant support levels for consolidation among various groups in their districts. (6) The characteristics of a school district that may influence a superintendent's decision on consolidation are: state equalized valuation; size of the district to be merged with; geographic distance of the proposed district; and the economic make up of the proposed district. (7) Superintendents involved in consortia see the consortium concept as a viable alternative to consolidation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access